“Dance Moms” star Cathy Stein and her daughter, Vivi, made an appearance in Portsmouth over the weekend as Rhythm and Rhinestones Dance Studio held a meet and greet for 20 local dancers and their moms.
Cathy Stein is mother to Vivi-Anne and owner of Candy Apple Dance Center in Canton, Ohio. Stein has been in “Dance Moms” since the first season and was actually the first person cast to be in it. She left the show’s main dance company at the end of Season 1 to go back to her own, but has remained a guest star ever since. Stein says that her role as guest star is perfect for her though.
“I’m happy with the guest appearances I make. It’s very difficult for me, because they film every week,” Stein said. “Abby, she only has her dance studio, she doesn’t have a family. The moms only have their families, they don’t have to run a business. With me, there’s both. There is a child that needs to go to and from school and my business. So, I’m happy with my guest appearances.”
Stein says that her typical meet and greets are formulated. The admission price to meet Stein covers a t-shirt, a card, autographs and photos. The event is closed by a workshop dance class, where Stein shares with them the techniques that she teaches her own students to get them performance ready.
“We just actually started to go on tour with meet and greets,” Stein said. “We did several last year and we are actually just starting the summer tour now, because I had to get finished with my recital. Also, I’m still filming for “Dance Moms,” but we’ve done several of them so far.”
Stein’s dancers are typically ballet heavy, so she focused on teaching the dancers at Rhythm and Rhinestones a watered down version of the warm-ups and stretches they do at Candy Apple Dance Center. Stein thinks these things are the most important to teach the students, because flexibility is a must in today’s world of dance.
Beth Born is a real life, Scioto County dance mom with two young daughters. Born was the Rhythm and Rhinestones representative at the Cathy and Vivi Stein appearance on Sunday.
“I’m just here to help as needed,” Born said. “Sometimes I’m helping with the programs for the shows and today I was needed to unlock the doors, open the studio and gets things up and running for Cathy and Vivi.”
Born reassures everyone that the parent network in Portsmouth is nothing like the drama of “Dance Moms.”
“We all get along very well and support each other’s kids and their dancing as much as we possibly can. It is a very positive atmosphere and everything runs nicely here,” Born said.
Born is glad that her kids and the rest of the dancers got the opportunity to meet Cathy and to hear what it is like first-hand to be involved in large dance studios. Born said the students were nervous, but that didn’t hold any of them back when it came time to ask questions about the show or dance methods.
“It’s really, really interesting. Cathy answered a lot of questions about competing, having a show, being on TV, and for them, it is like meeting a celebrity. It’s been a great experience. I’m glad Candice Ward [owner of Rhythm and Rhinestones] could bring them in.”
Sarah Born, 13, is a Portsmouth Junior High School student and a Rhythm and Rhinestones dancer that has been practicing for six years.
“We just did a ballet conditioning class, a question and answer, and got autographed pictures,” Sarah Born said. “We learned some new strengthening stretches and we did a technique class, too.
Sarah Born said that the strength classes is what she took away most from the meet and greet, but hearing Stein’s stories were just as rewarding.
“It was just a really cool experience to hear what it is like to be on TV and to have them actually be in our studio,” Born said.
Stein hoped the dancers would take away more than the the experience of seeing someone they watch on television.
“What I hope they take away is knowledge,” Stein said. “However, I think that people are somewhat star struck, so I’m sure they are just going to go to school, call their friends and tell them they got to meet a celebrity.”